Such was the predicament of millions of users of popular iOS apps such as Spotify, TikTok, Pinterest, Tinder, Bumble, Soundcloud, and even Google, to name a few. When the crumbs of technical analysis in the aftermath were followed, the issue was revealed to be caused by Facebook’s SDK (software development kit) for iPhone users worldwide.
The issue first came to light at around 06:30 pm ET, when several of these oft-used apps started crashing. The crashes sent iPhone users into a tizzy and many angry users took to social media platforms to vent their ire at the sudden occurrence of this inexplicable inconvenience.
Soon after, many iOS developers also reported their problems and opened an issue on GitHub regarding the same. The issue impacted not only those users who had logged into these apps using Facebook, but also those who hadn’t – including the tiny percentage who didn’t even have a Facebook account!
The problem erupted because Facebook disabled a server configuration update that triggered its SDK to cause apps using it to crash. The SDK is actually offered as a convenience for both developers and marketing teams. It can also be used to collect rich data for analysis from users and companies which are intertwined within its formidable reach. The SDK is also used to track the conversions of ads run through Facebook.
Simply put, the crash arose due to the server-side sending some bad data to the SDK, which caused code in the SDK to crash, consequently bringing down the app that was running it. All these activities occurred during the initialization of the SDK – something that takes place right after launching the app – hence the apps became simply unusable. In relation to its enormous impact, the issue was quite small. The SDK was expecting a reply in a specific format, which was not provided by the server-side. It calls Facebook servers every time the user launches the app, and where a library of results was to be retrieved, an entirely different format was returned, causing a cascading series of failures for any app that used it.
To their credit, Facebook, after getting wind of the bug, quickly moved to resolve the issue. In an official statement, as reported by the popular technology news website The Verge, a spokesperson from the company said that although the fix was implemented within the hour, it took more than a couple of hours to roll out to the affected user base.
Read More, https://dazeinfo.com/2020/05/11/when-facebook-faced-the-utmost-wrath-of-iphone-users-worldwide/